This 500-Square-Foot Condo Is Anything But Cookie-Cutter
When Alanna Dunn bought her 550-square-foot condo in Calgary’s trendy Mount Royal neighborhood in 2014, she never imagined sharing the compact space with anyone else. Then, chance stepped in: that same week, she met her future husband, Ryan Agrey, an architect with Stantec, and a year later he moved in. “We weren’t sure if small-space living was for us, but I had just finished the majority of the renovations and felt like I hadn’t had time to enjoy the changes yet,” says Alanna, a senior designer at Reena Sotropa In House Design Group.
In the four years since, she’s continued to transform the condo into a bright home brimming with clever storage solutions that take advantage of every square inch. “We’re happy to have storage challenges if it means the trade-off is living within walking distance of 100 awesome restaurants,” says Alanna.
Scroll down to tour this cool and compact condo.
Alanna chose hardworking materials for the home’s key pieces, like topping the coffee table, which doubles as an impromptu dining table, with a Caesarstone slab. A swing-arm sconce spotlights the gallery wall that features a Cameroonian juju hat and original artwork by Jonathan Alfaro. A small cabinet beside the sofa holds the couple’s vinyl collection.
Alanna and Ryan’s home has become the de facto hang-out spot for their friends who travel in from the suburbs and gather here before heading out to dinners, bars or concerts.
In the high-contrast kitchen, wicker and rattan bar stools create a graphic breakfast bar perch. “I didn’t realize how hard we were going to be on the condo,” says Alanna. “Since we have fewer pieces, the wear and tear is much greater. We needed to invest in quality staples.”
Brass detailing outfits the kitchen and the rooms beyond, adding a feel of glamour to the quaint quarters. To bring personality to the all-white space, Alanna layered pretty blush tones, mod patterns and bold black accents like interior doors that help balance the condo’s existing black appliances.
Alanna her hats in the hallway because she couldn’t find another place to store them, but it’s had a surprising effect. “They add some fun color, and now I wear them way more than I used to,” she says with a laugh.
The bathroom’s classic white subway tile, marble countertop and black hex floor tiles create a timeless envelope. Alanna executed a “storage blitz,” adding a secret niche behind the mirror to store her many bottles of nail polish. “It gives us extra storage, like a medicine cabinet but without the bulk,” she says. Unique touches such as the jade green cabinet handles and gallery wall add elements of surprise.
Since Ryan sometimes works from home, the couple made space for a desk in the bedroom. His chair was a lucky Kijiji find.
Alanna had coveted this Kelly Wearstler wallpaper, which inspired the blush tones throughout the condo. “It’s a luxury product, but because this wall is so small, it wasn’t a huge cost,” she says.